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OSU hosts ASAS Southern Section Academic Quadrathlon

Oklahoma State University hosted the lab practicum and written exam portion of the 2019 American Society of Animal Science Southern Section Academic Quadrathlon in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on January 26th-27th, 2019.
OSU hosts ASAS Southern Section  Academic Quadrathlon

Blake Wilson receives 2019 Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award in Education.

Oklahoma State University hosted the lab practicum and written exam portion of the 2019 American Society of Animal Science Southern Section Academic Quadrathlon in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on January 26th-27th, 2019. The Academic Quadrathlon is a skills and knowledge based competition held at the local, regional, and national levels.

The competition consists of an oral presentation, written exam, lab practicum, and quiz bowl. Teams of four are made up of university undergraduate students who train independently for the annual competition. Winning teams move up to the next level of competition.

Blake Wilson, assistant professor in the OSU Department of Animal and Food Sciences, has advised the OSU Quadrathlon team for the last several years. As an undergraduate, he participated in the Quadrathlon and has thought highly of the event ever since.

“In most collegiate competitions, you have to be an expert and extremely skilled in one area,” Wilson said. “This contest tests you in all areas of animal science and incorporates hands-on production tasks though the practicum, written evaluation, and oral communication, as well as creativity through the presentation and quick thinking/trivia knowledge through the quiz bowl.”OSU Quadrathlon team member looks through a microscope during a practicum stop for the 2019 regional competition.

Advisors provide their students with a general description of the Quadrathlon based on the rules and competition format so the students know what is required of them. Faculty can’t directly coach a Quadrathlon team, so the team members must be self-motivated, well-rounded individuals in order to be successful.

“You have to have students who are smart, but also have experience, knowledge, or skills in all areas of animal science,” Wilson said. “Team members have to be motivated, seek out resources, and work on preparing on their own.”

The lab practicum is the most lengthy and intensive portion of the competition. It started early in the morning on Saturday and took the teams through 16 practicum stops located at various OSU facilities, including the Animal Science building, many farms, and the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center. The teams had to complete a practicum stop in 15-20 minutes before moving on to the next location. The students were never certain what they would encounter at the next stop since each one required something unique.

“You can’t possibly prepare for everything that you will see in a competition as anything and everything related to animal science is fair game, but you try to be an expert on some things and hope your teammates are experts on the others,” Wilson said. “Having a well-rounded animal science background and experience with multiple species is a huge plus.”

Each of the practicum stops revolved around a different animal science topic/discipline. The students interacted with feed, animals, tools, and research equipment related to the topic of the practicum stop in order to demonstrate their ability to perform physical skills. The topics included meat science, food safety, pet and companion animal, genetics and biotechnology, breed ID, metabolism and physiology, reproduction, poultry, equine, dairy, animal behavior, swine, beef (receiving/feedlot), beef (purebred/cow-calf), sheep, and forages, feeds, and feeding.

This year, Wilson was also chair of the Southern Section Academic Quadrathlon Committee. He was in charge of organizing and overseeing this year’s competition, including communicating with the Southern Section committee members, assigning duties for the competition, working with ASAS to reserve rooms for the contest, finding judges for the oral presentations, making sure the written exam and quiz bowl questions were updated, coordinating grading of the exams, and reserving hotel rooms for the practicum portion. Other Southern Section committee members included Joseph Daniel, Patricia Harrelson, and David Forrest.

“There is a substantial amount of planning and organizing that goes into successfully conducting the Quadrathlon competition every year,” Wilson said. “It is an intense weekend for all involved, but extremely rewarding to the participants. This workload is dramatically increased when your university is also the practicum host.”

OSU faculty, staff, and graduate students helped with hosting duties this year by planning, setting up, and supervising the practicum stops.

“The OSU Department of Animal and Food Sciences was an excellent host and put on a challenging lab practicum,” Wilson said. “Thanks to Dr. Rusk and the animal and food sciences faculty for hosting and supporting the event!”

2019 OSU Quadrathlon Team

The oral presentations and the quiz bowl were held at the Sheraton Hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Sunday. The OSU Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon team did an exceptional job in the competition, receiving 2nd place overall, 1st place in the quiz bowl, and 1st place in the lab practicum.

“It was an extremely competitive contest this year,” Wilson said.” A total of 14 universities fielded teams from across the Southern Section. This included some schools competing for the first time and the return of others. I think it takes outstanding and balanced students to excel in this contest and I enjoy getting to work with those students and see them compete against the best from other universities.”

Wilson also received the Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award in Education from the American Society of Animal Science at the ASAS 2019 Southern Section Meeting in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This award recognizes a member of ASAS who has made an outstanding contribution in education in the field of animal science.

Academic Quadrathlon Results

Texas Tech University was 1st place overall, Oklahoma State University was 2nd place overall, and North Carolina State University was 3rd place overall. Photos from the event are available at The full Quadrathlon results are listed below.


1) Texas Tech

2) Oklahoma State

3) North Carolina

State Lab Practicum:

1) Oklahoma State

2) North Carolina State

3) University of Tennessee Knoxville

Written Exam:

1) Middle Tennessee State

2) Texas Tech

3) Mississippi State

Oral Presentation:

1) Texas Tech

2) Mississippi State

3) Texas A&M

Quiz Bowl:

1) Oklahoma State

2) Texas Tech

3) North Carolina State


REPORTER: Rebekah Alford

SOURCE: Cowpoke News - Summer 2019 Edition

Rebekah Alford
Animal and Food Sciences Communications
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078

Oklahoma State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local governments cooperating: Oklahoma State University in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures, and is an equal opportunity

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